After 25 years as the President and CEO of the Vancouver Aquarium and Ocean Wise, our overarching parent global conservation organization, I am letting you know today that I am retiring at the end of this year.
It’s been an amazing quarter-century and an adventure beyond what I could have possibly imagined. I’ve been fortunate to have a career doing work close to my heart: ocean conservation, raising public awareness, supporting leading science and making use of that science in an era when our blue planet needed it the most.
And best of all, we’ve done this together.
The expanded mission of Ocean Wise, the increased attendance at the Aquarium, the introduction of direct action programs like the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean Up, Ocean Wise Sustainable Seafood and the establishment of the Coastal Ocean Research Institute were all made possible by members and donors like you.
Our work to protect the oceans is far from done, and even when I leave at the end of this year, my commitment to ocean conservation and my passion for public engagement will not wane. I will continue to be Ocean Wise’s biggest fan and look forward to watching it engage with more people around the world and new generations of families inspired to learn more, and do more.
I hope you will do the same.
Thank you for your unwavering commitment over the years. Your kind words, your passion and your willingness to stand up for this organization and to spread the word about our work has been a tremendous source of inspiration for me.
The Board of Directors is beginning an international search for my replacement. In the meantime and over the coming months, I look forward to speaking with many of you and we will be certain to share an update when my replacement is hired. S/he will be fortunate to have your support, as I have been.
Until then, I look forward to seeing you at the Aquarium’s upcoming Vortex exhibit – a provocative and creative exhibition with Douglas Coupland that will engage visitors on the significant issue of ocean plastic pollution.
John Nightingale, PhD
President & CEO